Two visits in one day. One much longer than the other...more about that later!
Our little man only lasted 35 minutes this morning before becoming fussy (a quiet fussy. It's sad that he has learned in 15 months it doesn't do him any good to cry loudly or fuss, he doesn't get special attention for it in a group with few nannies), and then a few minutes of Mama rocking him, he was out cold. (In his defense, he typically naps between 10-12, but the caretakers are wonderful to let us come when we like.) I was happy just to rock him and watch him sleep. It also gave the two of us (Doug and I) time to discuss our afternoon visit. After an hour, we took little Mister back up to his groupa room, as the nanny that gave him to us today promptly put up 1 finger telling us we had 1 hour to visit.
We had planned to leave to visit Max at 2:00pm like normal, but a call from T our facilitator to tell us she had to go to the local administration and they would be here to pick us up at 1:35pm. We arrived home shortly before 6:00pm.
On our way out of the big city, we stopped at an official building (you know one of those with the blue metal plaque next to the door) and waited as T talked to someone outside the building. Then, on out to the town where Max lives, and stopped at the ministry building in town. Again, we waited outside while T went in. Then on to the orphanage. I think I was nervous, but the car ride almost got the best of me today...I felt gross! We waited for the kids to get out of class on our normal bench outside the school. I saw Max come out the door, then bound towards us. As soon as he was close, he knew something was up. We took a walk around the side of the building. Doug asked him if there was something that he wanted to tell us about that had happened in the summer. Then, as he said to me tonight, "I had this whole speech planned out, and you just took over....and I was like 'Wow, okay, she's got this handled!"
Max understands that his poor judgment and choice has made his adoption more challenging. He understands that to be a part of the Layne family, he must make better decisions. He hung his head, but looked at us when we asked him to. Without having to use a lot of English, we could tell that he was remorseful for his poor judgment. We were sure to remind him that we love him and know that he is capable of making good choices. I reminded him that I know he has a good heart.
He needs a family. A family that loves him despite his faults, who helps him wade through those murky waters of the life he's had in the past and the turmoil he has dealt with. We are well aware of the emotional scars he has and the physical ones too. We will look for help for him as he will need to sort all of his past out and look forward to a brighter future with a family that loves him--unconditionally.
We've seen the tough exterior of the 'orphan' each day we visit. We see the tough exterior that each child presents, the walls that they have had to build to keep the hurt cased inside those protective walls. Attitude abounds in this place. Without knowing the language, you can sense the angered tone in their voice as they yell to one another. Name calling is a common occurrence. To point out one's differences is to hide your own insecurities. Girls flirt and doll themselves up to get attention. The kids with the latest item is 'alpha'. One day it may be the new speaker to play music loudly, another day it may be the kid with the PSP. Kids will tell us they like the orphanage, but I can't help but wonder as I see this teen or that teen walk past the bench where I sit, what he or she would be like in a loving family. We have the chance to find that out with our boy. We have seen short glances of it during his visits to Ohio.
We are going into this with our eyes wide open. I remember last winter when he got angry and instead of yelling or talking about it, he ran to hide. I remember his first visit when he was so angry with me (he was little and 8 years old at the time) that I sat in his bedroom in front of his door, while he fumed, yelled and cried. Doug listened through the baby monitor and was ready to assist at any moment. We know there is much heartache to overcome. Yet, we cannot pass up the chance to help him work though the pain and see the joy that life has to offer him.
We are reminded of a quote by a very insightful man, who lived his life as Christ commanded- to look after the orphans and widows in their distress. Derex Loux was reminded of this during the adoption of his three sons, and said " My friends, adoption is redemption. It’s costly, exhausting, expensive, and outrageous. Buying back lives costs so much. When God set out to redeem us, it killed Him. And when He redeems us, we can’t even really appreciate or comprehend it..."
Some photos from the day. The nuts that were the culprit of my son's black hands. They looked like walnuts to us.
When we asked him what they were, he said "Nuts!" (and looked at me like I was nuts for calling them anything different!) When I translated walnuts on my phone into Russian, he looked at the word, studied it, then put his finger over the 'wal' part of the word, and said, "Mom, see, nut!" Okay, so a nut is a nut, no matter what shape size, or color in the eyes of a Ukrainian boy!
We've signed papers and they are being sent to the capital city tonight via the night train. The papers will be submitted to the SDA tomorrow morning. Please pray with us that the SDA finds favor and allows us to have court early next week. We need to have court by Thursday in order to be at the US Embassy on Friday. Court on Friday would mean that we are here until early next week. I am ready to be home with our girls, then for Doug to return and finish the last details and bring the boys home!